P&Z to discuss another mixed-use development Feb. 22

Another controversial mixed-use development could be in the city of Shelton’s future.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission decided it will continue its hearing for an application for a development that would feature a hotel, a 145-unit luxury apartment building, a restaurant, retail space, and an auto service center at its Feb. 22 meeting.

Although there was no time for public comment during the hearing, Greg Tetro of SOS Save Our Shelton commented on the proposal after the meeting.

“Same song and dance, different day,” Tetro said. “Spent another close to two hours of how this proposal is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Can’t wait for our day to bring it back to reality.”

The project would be located on Bridgeport Avenue and 48 Long Hill Cross Road and is slated for development across from the proposed Towne Center at Shelter Ridge, which is still awaiting the commission’s decision.

City Engineer Robert Kulacz warned the P&Z via a letter to reject the new development slated for Wells Hollow Farm because of the impact it could have on traffic. The commission presented the letter during a public hearing on Jan. 25.

“The high intensity of this application that leaves no buffer between the development and the Wells Hollow Brook quarter includes three driveways across from the brook. There will be significant traffic impact due to the size and intensity of this proposed development. The Commission should give serious consideration to rejecting this high density development due to the negative impact of Wells Hollow Brook and its corridor, as well as traffic impact to both Long Hill Cross Road and Bridgeport Ave.”

Hearing postponed from September

Site attorney Dominick Thomas explained that the application for the Wells Farm property was filed in September but because the commission had a busy schedule, the hearing was delayed until January. He said that during that time, revisions were made to the hotel, which includes removing the restaurant from the hotel.

Thomas came before the P&Z to discuss the revised proposal for the development. He said the property has some “unique features.”

He said the property would have to be developed in two levels because there is a sewer line that runs through it. One level would be accessed off Long Hill Cross Road and the other accessed off Bridgeport Avenue, according to Thomas.

Apartment details for 145 units

The residential portion of the project would include 145 apartments, consisting of one-bedroom units, two-bedroom units, and two-bedroom units with a den.

The one-bedrooms units would be 750 square feet, and the two-bedroom units would range in size between 1,000 square feet and 1,200 square feet. All the units would have nine-foot ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and wood floors. The apartment complex would include a clubhouse, swimming pool, business center, and amenities.

The president of Realty Concepts Inc., Stanley Gniazdowski, spoke for the developer and said the growth of employment in Fairfield County could positively affect the market for real estate. He told the commission that real estate is dependent on employment and when there is growth in employment, there is demand for industrial and retail real estate.

Civil engineer Manny Silva from Rose-Tiso & Co. told the commission the development proposes 815 parking spaces near the hotel and restaurants, and said the clubhouse would be near the residential outdoor space with a pool. The building would be four stories in the front and three stories in the back. Silva said there would be some blasting of rock on the project.

Public against ‘overdevelopment’

Shelton resident Peter Squitieri said he is against the project.

“I think there’s just too much overdevelopment going on in Shelton,” he said. “We’re beginning to swell with all these ideas of people demanding luxury rentals, when in reality there is no demand for it.”

Another member of Save Our Shelton, Caitlin Augusta, said the development is being proposed before the city has felt the effects of other similar applications.

“I’m concerned about the size of that project and Shelter Ridge and what Bridgeport Avenue is going to look like if they both go in,” Augusta said.